Decking is a wise investment as this guarantees to maximise your outdoor space. Before you call a company to get a quote, you need to know what the best decking material is for your space.
For 2018, the popular decking materials are timber wood and composite. This is ideal if you have a growing family because the deck adds a versatile space which can be used either as a playground or entertainment area.
To make your decision-making easier, about which of the two decking material is the best option, here are the important factors you need to consider:
The location is the primary factor to consider when choosing a decking material because of the weather. The deck is exposed to different natural elements, so it’s a must to choose a decking material that can withstand it all.
If you are living in the northern part of Australia, it’s best to choose a decking material that is good for tropical climate during summer, and warm and dry during winter. While for the southern part of Australia, choose a decking material that is good from mild to cold weather.
The purpose is another important factor to consider because this will help you determine the design of the deck. Decking materials have their fair share of advantages and disadvantages. By determining the design, you will be able to know if your chosen decking material fits or caters to the needs of your deck.
The common purposes of decks are for the pool area, grill area, entertaining guests and kids’ activity area.
The size of the deck must always be well-proportioned in your house. To easily determine the right size for your deck, you can follow the deck designers’ advice: the deck should always be no larger than the largest room in your house.
The size may not be important in choosing the right decking material, but it will matter once you order it. The size will help you know the exact number of decking materials you will need for the entire construction.
The installation process differs for each decking materials. There are some decking materials that are easy to install, and there are some that are not. To save you time and money, it’s best to choose a decking material that is of high-quality and easy to install at the same time.
The secret for the deck to last long lies in the proper care the homeowner provides for it. Since decking materials have their own unique proper care guidelines, it’s highly advisable to read it and know how much maintenance it needs. This is to ensure that once your deck has been built, you will enjoy using it more than maintaining it.
Just like with most things, decking materials has its limitations. It’s best to know this upfront so, you will have a clear picture on what to expect when you use this material.
After identifying the factors that you need to consider, the next step is to look for the decking materials itself. Below is the comparison of the two decking materials based on their specifications and some of the important factors mentioned above.
Timber Decking Vs. Composite Decking
Timber decking is the conventional choice for most homeowners. Aside from its aesthetic appeal, it can also absorb heat which is great in conserving energy. While composite decking is starting to gain popularity because it is designed for long-lasting durability and resistance to moulds, rots, splinters, and insects. It is made from a mix of recycled plastics and waste wood fibers.
Location: Timber decking is best built in a location with tropical climate; while composite decking is flexible and can be installed in any weather temperature.
Installation: Installation of timber decking requires more time and decent handyman skills because it needs to be drilled and nailed together properly. While for composite decking, it is much easier to install. But due to its heavy weight and supporting clippings, it becomes advisable to seek for more people to help you finish the job.
Maintenance Needed: In terms of maintenance, timber decking requires more than composite decking as it is more prone to damages such as delamination, warping and more. To ensure it will last long, you need to apply protective treatment once or twice a year. Also, clean it regularly to avoid the growth of moulds.
During cold weather, your timber deck needs to apply a waterproof treatment or recoating. This to ensure your timber deck’s structure and surfaces are protected against possible damages caused by snow or water.
For composite decking, the maintenance needed will depend on the weather. During summer, you only need to wash it with water and composite deck cleaner. While during cold weather you need to sweep off the snow using a plastic shovel. This is important to note because shovel with the metal end can damage its surface.
If there are ice build-ups on your deck, you can safely remove it by using a calcium-chloride based product.
Disadvantages: Since timber decking is great in a location with tropical climates, it can become prone to termite invasion. To avoid possible infestation, it’s ideal to choose a decking material that is resistant to termite, mould, and rot. Some of the best choices of decking materials are Jarrah, Ironbark, and Australian Teak.
A composite decking disadvantage is that some materials can be slippery and grow mildew. To avoid this, make sure to choose materials that have an anti-slip and water-resistant features like watertight and all premium composite materials.
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